Setting in beach volleyball

Volleyball Setting Rules: A Guide to Setting in Volleyball

Mar 14, 2023


Setting is a crucial skill in volleyball that requires precise coordination between the setter and the hitter. Read on to learn about the rules for setting in volleyball, including setting techniques, accuracy over power, hand signals, footwork, and advanced setting techniques. Plus, discover how our Complete Player Program can help you improve your setting skills and take your game to the next level.

Setting Technique

Setting technique is one of the most important aspects of setting in volleyball. The setter must position themselves under the ball and use their fingertips to direct the ball to the hitter's hitting zone. The ball should be released from the hands using a clean and consistent motion. It's also essential for setters to have a quick reaction time and be able to read the game well. This means being able to anticipate where the ball is going to be and adjust their positioning accordingly. Setters should also have good hand-eye coordination and be able to quickly adjust their hand position to make a clean contact with the ball. Additionally, setters should practice their setting technique from different angles, including from off the net, to help them become more versatile and better able to handle different game situations.  

Click here to check out our previous blog about Hand Setting Mechanics to take your setting game to the next level!

Accuracy Over Power: Why It’s Important to Set Further Off the Net

Setting further off the net is not only important for creating more opportunities for your hitters, but it also helps to make it more difficult for the opposing team to block your hits. When the ball is set too close to the net, the hitter has less time to react, and the opposing team can more easily set up a block. By setting the ball further off the net, you give your hitter more time to get into position and more room to maneuver around the block. This can also help to create more opportunities for tips and dumps, which can be effective in catching the other team off guard.


Great communication is an essential part of setting in volleyball. The hitter uses certain phrases to communicate with the setter about the type of set they desire. Different phrases are used to indicate different types or locations of sets, such as a middle set, a push, or an outside set. Communication between the setter and the hitter is critical in setting.  This will ensure that the play is executed with the highest level of accuracy as possible. Always have the conversation with your team about how you prefer your “perfect” set to be delivered.


Footwork is an essential aspect of setting in volleyball. The setter must have quick and precise footwork to position themselves under the ball correctly. The setter must also be able to move quickly to get into position to set the ball. Good footwork allows the setter to execute the perfect set. Setters' footwork should also be fluid and natural. Good footwork helps setters to maintain their balance and stability, which is important for making clean, accurate sets.  For the best footwork every time, Think OFF FOOT, NET FOOT, SET!  Additionally, setters should practice moving in different directions, including forward, backward, and side to side, to help them become more versatile and better able to handle different game situations.

Volleyball Setting Rules

There are several rules in volleyball that apply to setting. According to volleyball setting rules, the contact must be made with the fingertips and released simultaneously from the hands. There is NO rule about spin on the ball when released.  This was something that recreational leagues made up to help some people better referee games without the proper training and knowledge. The ball must not be carried, held, or thrown by the setter. The setter is also not allowed to reach over the net to touch the ball, except under certain circumstances. Violating these rules can lead to a fault, which can result in a point for the opposing team.

Advanced Setting Techniques

Using a backset can be a highly effective advanced setting technique, especially when combined with setting the ball a little further off the net. By combining a backset with setting the ball further off the net, you can create even more opportunities for your hitters to score, while still following the rules of the game.

If you want to become a complete volleyball player, mastering setting is essential. As part of our Complete Player Program, we offer expert coaching and training resources to help you improve your setting skills and take your game to the next level. Don't miss out on the chance to improve your game and dominate the court. Sign up for our program today!



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